The Jumbo-class WT 350, the Premium-class WT 370 and the Top-class P 900 from PALFINGER are able to meet the requirements of cleaning, maintenance and repairs of the new Museum from Louis Vuitton. PALFINGER developed a lot of individual adjustments tailored to the specific needs of Louis Vuitton.

PALFINGER is part of a truly unique project. The well-known luxury goods company Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. planned to construct an extraordinary museum right in the heart of Paris as part of the specially established “Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création” (Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation).

With a futuristic and ultra-modern design, the building catches your eye with a unique façade made from glass and steel elements. For cleaning, maintenance and repairs, the building operators need machines that not only are able to handle the enormous height of the building but also offer the necessary manoeuvrability and flexibility to access all areas.

Of course, only platforms made by a premium manufacturer were considered – and with the Jumbo-class WT 350, the Premium-class WT 370 and the Top-class P 900 able to meet the highest requirements, PALFINGER was virtually predestined to serve as a partner.


However, Louis Vuitton naturally needed more than just series-produced platforms, which meant that a number of individual adjustments to the machines were required. The need for special equipment is primarily due to the spectacular design of the museum’s façade since the panelling comprising more than 3,000 glass elements is anything but ordinary. Each element was manufactured separately, features a unique shape and size and is intended to refract sunlight in different ways. In combination with the inward-curving struts forming the shape of sails, the building looks like a giant palace made from ice. A straightforward, standardised procedure for working on the front sections is therefore simply not an option. In close collaboration with the project managers at Louis Vuitton as well as architecture firm TAW Weisse, which was responsible for drawing up the cleaning concept, the engineers and designers from PALFINGER got to work and adapted the access platforms to requirements to enable the operators to work comfortably and efficiently under these highly specialised conditions.

However, alongside comfort and efficiency, the focus was also on protecting the façade from mechanical damage. Here too, our designers put forward a simple yet effective solution. To prevent cracks and damage to the glass elements, all three machines were equipped with special sensors in the workman baskets that alert operators whenever they are in close proximity to the façade, thereby minimising the risk of a collision.


Permanently set up on a concrete base in the upper part of the complex and thus completely out of sight for visitors, the WT 350 can clean and maintain the building’s roof areas without any problems or difficulties. The WT 370 and P 900 are used for the glass areas on the sides and can navigate around the entire structure as required. Here, the WT 370 is primarily responsible for the lower part of the façade whereas the Top class P 900 works on the higher parts of the exterior in particular.

Tight access and entrance roads make maximum protection against potential damage a necessity here too. At the same time, the machines must be ideally positioned to enable optimum use of their range and manoeuvrability. The combination of a GPS system specially designed for these purposes and the sensor-based monitoring on the stabilizers eliminates any worries about the machines colliding with the building. What’s more, the P 900 features two cameras on the telescope arms to prevent collisions when extending and subsequently adjusting the platform as well. A monitor located in the workman basket allows the operator to keep an eye on everything, thereby enabling safe operation without any obstacles.

Since cleaning operations are primarily conducted during the night, low-noise operation must be ensured.  Together with the experienced PALFINGER engineers, a special electricity, water and air system has been developed throughout the entire building. The additional installed electric drive is powered by external electricity, completely without the use of a power take-off or battery and thus operates virtually without making any noise. There are connections for air and water directly in the workman basket, which can be used if necessary.

The project managers at Louis Vuitton were impressed after initial commissioning! “All three machines are impressive since they offer maximum safety while simultaneously maintaining precision. PALFINGER has completely satisfied our wishes and requirements. We don’t even have to worry about any breakage thanks to the effective protection mechanism. All bases really have been covered.” This was the initial statement given, which fills us with pride.